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Yes, You Washed Your Hands... But Is That Enough?

Washing your hands is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good alternative.

When to Wash Your Hands

While you likely already realize the importance of washing your hands after using the bathroom, there are many other scenarios where good hand hygiene is just as, if not more, important. These include:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Cleaning More Than Just Your Hands

Washing your hands is just the first step in preventing illness. It’s important – especially during peak cold and flu season – to clean other surfaces you come in contact with on a regular basis, such as:

  • Computer keyboards
  • Kitchen and bathroom countertops
  • Phones
  • TV remotes
  • Doorknobs, door handles, light switches, and faucet handles
  • Purses and wallets
  • Pillows, blankets, and towels

Disinfecting wipes are ideal for hard surfaces while sanitizing sprays are perfect for door handles and soft surfaces like sofas and mattresses. After a bout of cold or flu, it’s a good idea to launder your pillows, blankets, and towels in hot water to kill germs and prevent reinfection.

Following these simple guidelines will significantly reduce your chances of getting sick, and will keep your family safe and healthy this cold and flu season.

If you or a family member has contracted the flu, contact your primary care physician or visit one of our Urgent Care facilities listed here.